10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World (1)

Reality is not as obvious and simple as we like to think. Some of the things that we accept as true at face value are notoriously wrong. Scientists and philosophers have made every effort to change our common perceptions of it. The 10 examples below will show you what I mean.

1. Great glaciation.

Great glaciation is the theory of the final state that our universe is heading toward. The universe has a limited supply of energy. According to this theory, when that energy finally runs out, the universe will devolve into a frozen state. Heat energy produced by the motion of the particles, heat loss, a natural law of the universe, means that eventually this particle motion will slow down and, presumably, one day everything will stop.

2. Solipsism.

Solipsism is a philosophical theory, which asserts that nothing exists but the individual’s consciousness. At first it seems silly – and who generally got it into his head completely deny the existence of the world around us? Except when you put your mind to it, it really is impossible to verify anything but your own consciousness.

Don’t you believe me? Think a moment and think of all the possible dreams that you have experienced in your life. Is it not possible that everything around you is nothing but an incredibly intricate dream? But we have people and things around us that we cannot doubt, because we can hear, see, smell, taste and feel them, right? Yes, and no. People who take LSD, for example, say that they can touch the most convincing hallucinations, but we do not claim that their visions are “reality”. Your dreams simulate sensations as well, after all, what you perceive is what different sections of your brain tell you to.

As a result, which parts of existence can we not doubt? None. Not the chicken we ate for dinner or the keyboard beneath our fingers. Each of us can only be sure in his own thoughts.

3. Idealist Philosophy

George Berkeley, the father of Idealism, argued that everything exists as an idea in someone’s mind. Berkley discovered that some of his comrades considered his theory stupid. The story goes that one of his detractors kicked a stone with his eyes closed and said, “There I’ve disproved it!”

The idea being that if the stone really only exists in his imagination, he could not have kicked it with his eyes closed. Refutation of Berkeley is hard to understand, especially in these days. He argued that there is an omnipotent and omnipresent God, who sees all and all at once. Realistic, or not?

4. Plato and Logos.

reality illusionEverybody has heard of Plato. He is the world’s most famous philosopher. Like all philosophers he had a few things to say about reality. He argued that beyond our perceived reality there lies a world of “perfect” forms. Everything that we see is just a shade, an imitation of how things truly are. He argued that by studying philosophy we have a chance of catching a glimpse of how things truly are, of discovering the perfect forms of everything we perceive.

In addition to this stunning statement, Plato, being a monist, said that everything is made of a single substance. Which means (according to him) that diamonds, gold and dog feces all consist of the same basic material, but in a different form, which, with science’s discovery of atoms and molecules, has been proven true to an extent.

5. Presentism.

Time is something that we perceive as a matter of course, if we view it at the moment, we usually divide it into past, present and future. Presentism argues that the past and the future are imagined concepts, while only the present is real.

In other words, today’s breakfast and every word of this article will cease to exist after you have read it, until you open it again. The future is just as imaginary, because time cannot exist before and after it happened, as claimed by St. Augustine.

6. Eternalism.

Enternalism is the exact opposite of presentism. This is a philosophical theory that says that time is multi-layered. It can be compared to a pound cake (however, unlike the time, a biscuit is not up for philosophical debate). All time exists simultaneously, but the measurement is determined by the observer. What he sees depends on which point he is looking at.

Thus dinosaurs, World War II and Justin Bieber all exist simultaneously but can only be observed from a specific location. If one takes this view of reality then the future is hopeless and the deterministic free will is illusory.

7. The Brain in a Jar

The “brain in a jar” thought experiment is a question discussed by thinkers and scientists, who, like most people, believe that human’s understanding of reality depends solely on his subjective feelings.

So, what is the debate? Imagine that you are just a brain in a jar that is run by aliens or mad scientists. How would you know? And can you truly deny the possibility that this is your reality?

This is a modern interpretation of the Cartesian evil demon problem. This thought experiment leads to the same conclusion: we cannot confirm the actual existence of anything except our consciousness. If this seems to sound reminiscent of the movie “The Matrix“, it is only because this idea was part of the very basis of the story. Unfortunately, in reality we have no red pills…

8. The Multiverse Theory

multiverse realityAnyone who has not spent the last ten years on a desert island, has at least once heard of “the multiverse”, or parallel universes. As many of us have seen, parallel words, in theory, are worlds very similar to ours, with little (or in some cases, large) changes or differences. The multiverse theory speculates that there could exist an infinite number of these alternate realities.

What’s the point? In a parallel reality you have already killed the dinosaurs, and you are lying under the ground at a depth of eight feet (because that’s what happened there.) In the other you might be a powerful dictator. In another you might never have even been born since your parents never met. Now that’s a memorable image.

9. Fictional realism.

This is the most fascinating branch of multiverse theory. Superman is real. Yes, some of you would probably choose a different story, for argument’s sake, Harry Potter might be real too. This branch of the theory argues that given an infinite number of universes, everything must exist somewhere. So, all of our favorite fiction and fantasy may be descriptive of an alternate universe, one where all the right pieces came in to place to make it happen.

10. Phenomenalism.

Everyone is interested in what happens to things when we aren’t looking at them. Scientists have carefully studied this problem and some of them came to a simple conclusion – they disappear. Well, not quite like this. Phenomenalist philosophers believe that objects only exist as a phenomenon of consciousness. So, your laptop is only here while you are aware of, and believe in its existence, but when you turn away from it, it ceases to exist until you or someone else interacts with it. There is no existence without perception. This is the root of phenomenalism.

via listverse.com
art by Victoria Audouard

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Anna LeMind

Anna LeMind

Anna is the owner and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about technology, science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.
Anna LeMind

About Anna LeMind

Anna is the owner and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about technology, science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.
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305 Comments

  1. This is one of the most rarest topics I`ve ever seen. Good work !!!

  2. Rain-aldo Wilber-to

    Much appreciation for these 10 statements about the “true nature of reality”, and your taking the time to publish them for all of us. It was a fun read!

    Sort of curious whether ‘Multi-verse’ could be equated with ‘Infinity’ (just a matter of terminology there?);
    I sort of don’t believe the human mind is really capable of comprehending infinity (in terms of diverse possible mind-structure-experiential-actualities), that could just be my belief limiting me though.

    With Phenomenalism you highlighted the main point: “There is no existence without perception.” …
    A wise one mentions states of concentration found during deep meditation such as “neither perception/nor non-perception”, “the reality limit” and “no existence whatsoever” (but that is for those very serious about meditation, not just average people like many of us; We might need a special mind-expansion technique, since we are just regular people 😉

    • Larry Chandler

      Each of us perceives the universe, life, etc., from our own perspective based on sensory input and education. Therefore the universe is personal to all of us and there are as many universes as people. Each has its own and collectively there are billions. We can share knowledge of commonly agreed upon terms but we can’t share universes. I can understand only the miniscule part of your universe that you explain to me but I cannot step into yours nor you into mine.

  3. Great article; all equally mind-bending concepts. The most mind-bending aspect of this all is that we will never know. We might once we move on to another plain of consciousness but until then, we can only pontificate.

  4. My Big TOE by Tom Campbell is the best theory on the cutting edge out there. Do yourself a favour and look at some of his videos and read his books :-)
    I am just someone who likes to put good information out there for all that it feels good to take in.

  5. 1. Also, the law of entropy. 2. I think, therefore I am (here on a trip.) 3. Intelligent design 4. I doubt it. 5., 6. & 8. Parallel dimensions, like peeling an onion, skin by skin, all just slightly different. Also, energy can not be created nor destroyed, only modified. Time, space, and energy are related. E = MxCsquared. 7. Mass consciousness is the bedrock reality which allows each to have subjective thoughts and awareness. 9. Fiction is called that because it is not real except in the mind. 10. True after physical death, when as spirits, we can create things by thought that dissolve when not thinking about them.

  6. Good Job Anna…So enjoy the aspect of the theory of Eternalism.

  7. Love the article. But it seems that the first concept doesn’t fit in with the rest of them. 2-10 are philosophical while 1 is a physics theory.

  8. I really like the dear information you offer in your articles. I’m able to bookmark your site and show the kids check out up here generally. Im fairly positive theyre likely to be informed a great deal of new stuff here than anyone else! 

  9. What about Thermodynamics? Everything is made of energy that cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. Therefore, when we die, our “being” or “energy” does NOT cease to exist but is Transformed/Transferred to something else or into something else. What that is exactly, well, I would love to know. That scientific fact blew my mind and continues to comfort me when dealing with loss.

  10. These are the things what everyone wanted to know.but lack of a bit intrest they refuse…thanx

  11. Really awesome think, thanks

  12. the thing these theories all have in common is that they were all dreamt up by the infinite collective human mind. Sure, they all exist as theories. Fantastic. The only constant is consciousness, that watches the thoughts, the minds, the ideas. You are awake and aware and exist in whatever reality you believe yourself to be in. But belief is restrictive to parameters of “can” and “cannot”. Yes. You have a vast human mind that can dream as many dreams as there are stars in the universe… but do you really want to name them all or just enjoy looking at them?

  13. i think this way of thinking does have its direct link to ‘UPANISHADS’ of hindu religious philosophy

  14. Thanks a lot. Very interesting reading.

  15. Everything is our Consciousness its the biggest secret that has been kept hidden right in front of millions all the time. We are all a part of a Universal Consciousness. Practicing mindfulness strengthens your consciousness its that simple.

  16. I strongly believe that what we live, what we experience is only possible because we’ve created words/definitions, wants and so called needs. Without these things nothing would so per say exist but things would just be. So basically why is everything infinite? Because we believe it! The world is what we make of it. We spoke the first word and from there our divisive world was started! Definitions which are constantly changing prove that that certain thing does not actually exist as if it did then why does it keep changing definition? Its more proof that the truth/the answer is constantly changing and it relative to the observer!! We are One!

  17. Interesting way to start the day.

  18. I think the only theory which is least likely is the Great Glaciation, as this implies all energy was provided by something, in a fixed quantity, and that the motion, vibration, of all things are actually out of balance.

    The rest of the theories ought to be looked at in conjunction, not as each being a separate answer.

    And particularly, how do you get that Presentism and Eternalism are opposite? They are aspects of the same thing. . . everything is always now. It is only through our physical based perceptions that we see a line of time.

    I think one of the great human errs is to separate aspects of life and follow a particular rabbit hole, allowing ourselves to think then that it is all there is, THE explanation. Various ideas must be blended, like looking through a kaleidoscope rather than a microscope.

  19. These really blows my mind, but I’m very much blown by that presentism statement.

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